Changes are automatically saved. Reset Settings

IMARK Announces Winners of Electrical Industry 'Elevator Pitch' Competition

Bob Smith president/CEO, IMARK Group
Steve Ruane vice president, Marketing
Jerry Knight president, IMARK Electrical
Matt Roos executive vice president

We are pleased to share our column space with the winners of the IMARK “Elevator Pitch” competition on behalf of the electrical industry.

As we all know, not enough bright and talented young people are considering jobs and careers in the electrical industry. “Elevator Pitch” contestants were asked to quickly and effectively describe the electrical industry (in two or three paragraphs maximum) and encourage young men and women to consider a career opportunity in it.

Our industry has a great story to tell—and our winners have proven it.

We’d like to thank the 50 people (from the ranks of member distributors, suppliers and agency reps) who submitted their “Elevator Pitch.” All submittals were excellent and the judges had a difficult task in selecting the best of the best.

Congratulations to our winners, each of whom has earned a $100 gift card from IMARK Group. Visit to view a list of entries that earned honorable mention and a $25 gift card.

Kevin Reed, Paramont-EO Inc., Woodridge, Illinois

What is a factory without power? An office without computers? A home without light? A hospital without lifesaving equipment? We deliver the parts that help power the world. Nearly every major advancement in modern life is powered by the energy we help deliver. Without that power, your smartphone could never have been made. There would be no internet. The promise of a linked planet via satellite would still be a pipe dream.

Life, as you know it, would never be the same without power. And we help put that power in the hands of contractors who can shape our world. From basic building wire that energizes that outlet you use every day to the high-speed fiber optic cable that revolutionized the telecommunications industry, the products we supply are everywhere and can be responsible for your health and enjoyment in life.

Without power, there would be no nightlife. Skyscrapers would be impractical. And the world would never fully be bridged. Without the power that our materials help deliver, your life would not be the same. And without you to help deliver these goods into the world, our future would not be as bright.

Shawna Crandell, EDGES Electrical Group, San Jose, California

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. That’s how it feels to be part of an electrical distribution company. The products we supply are eventually brought to life usually in our local areas and each person who works for the company can be proud that they were part of bringing that to light and life. We see it while visiting family and friends at the hospital where our isolated ground receptacles keep the equipment safe. We see it in our school parking lots as we bring in the new solar panels to do our little part to keep the world green. Our controls are seen on the big screen like when they helped the whale in “Free Willie” escape through the iron gates into the ocean. The pride and ownership in the sports arenas we take our family to for a Friday night game are real and we deserve the look of pride and coolness in our kids’ eyes when we say we were the distributor who made that happen.

Every job we have at an electrical distributor is important to the success of the company and like cogs in a wheel we need them all to be strong. You can promote within the company or you can be the best at where you feel comfortable. You can start as a wire cutter and then be a gear specialist. You can be a temporary hire for a receptionist position and become assistant credit manager. You can be an inside salesperson for your entire career. Whichever way you go there is a successful space for you. Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot, so join an electrical distributor and be part of a family. Cheers!

John Cross, K&M Electric Supply, Riviera Beach, Florida

Landing yourself in the right career is a tough and often confusing process. There are countless opportunities available for those individuals who have an inquisitive mind and the drive for hard work. This can often lead to confusion while choosing the correct path to follow. I would recommend taking a look into the electrical distribution industry as the perfect starting point.

The work is both challenging and rewarding. As an industry undergoing constant evolution, guided by technological and scientific advancement, there are countless chances for learning and education in the field of electrical distribution. Whether you choose to concentrate on a specialty, such as energy conservation or perhaps would like to explore a broader spectrum offering products for health care facilities, there’s a unique niche for everyone.

As modern society trends toward a global community, citizens all over the world will increasingly rely on dependable electrical systems to aid them in logistics, communication and to help them with their business needs in general. This virtually guarantees a successful career path for those who wish to pursue it. A lifetime of learning and profit exists if you wish to reach out and take it.

Anthony Girolamo, Walters Wholesale Electric, Signal Hill, California

When growing up and thinking about entering the workforce, it is a common theme for people to aspire to do something where they can make an impact and help others, if possible. Careers, for example, that often fulfill this way of thinking are nursing, teaching or firefighting. It is not so common for people to think of the electrical industry as a way to make an impact and improve the lives of others, when the reality is that the electrical industry directly impacts everybody.

Almost everything we do today requires electricity, whether it is stopping at a traffic light on our commute, turning on the oven to make a meal or instantly communicating with others from all around the world. In my view, the electrical industry is actually one of the most important industries that exists because of all that it allows us to do; much of our modern life and standard of living would not be possible without it. So while you are exploring different career paths to go down in your future, I would suggest exploring the electrical industry as a potential option.

Wesley Greene, EDGES Electrical Group, San Jose, California

When I was in high school, a phone call cost you 35 cents. Driving directions came from the local gas station attendant and surfing the internet required a personal computer, a modem and a trial CD-ROM from America Online. I can still hear the sound of the dial-up connection, “SCREEE...EEE...EEE...EEECH...WAAAH...WAAAH... WAAAH.” Thankfully, those days are long gone. Technological advancements like your smartphone can bring a world of information to your fingertips. GPS satellites monitor the flow of traffic and can navigate us to any corner of the globe. Sunlight can be absorbed by solar panels and converted into useable energy to power appliances, homes and electric vehicles. All of these lifechanging innovations are powered by the electrical industry.

Cell-Phone.jpgWhy should you be “plugged in” to the electrical industry? First of all, you already are. Electrical power is absolutely necessary for all of us. Every branch of modern society uses electricity. Without electrical power, mankind would literally be “in the dark.” Schools, hospitals and businesses rely heavily on electric power, so a career in the electrical industry will always be in demand. Electrical distributors around the world supply the light bulbs, fixtures and hardware we all need to “stay charged.” Careers in electrical distribution are diverse, reliable and rewarding. Delivery drivers, marketing teams, salespeople and warehouse personnel make up some of the many different career positions at electrical distribution outfits. Where do you fit in? Careers in the electrical industry are dependable and can be lucrative. Electrical distribution in the United States alone is a $75 billion industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website, electrical distribution professionals make an average salary close to $70,000 a year and bring in nearly $45 an hour. As we move forward into the future, careers in the electrical industry will continue to be highly valued. Smart homes, green energy and advancements in electric transportation are leading the wave of the future for electrical power. As we approach the new age, careers in the electrical industry are a bright light that will never flicker or fade out.

Jordan Buck, Meglio and Associates, Chesterfield, Missouri

How would you feel working in an industry where there is almost always a job available? Where there is almost always a new position being opened up for opportunity? Where your growth potential is almost never defined? The electrical industry can be that industry for you. Our industry seems to be a revolving door for people coming in and staying until they retire. There are not many people who leave the industry once they are in it. Even the ones who do seem to find their way back. I have always said, “There are 99 people in this industry for every 100 jobs (meaning, there is always somewhere else to go if you are not happy in your position).”

There are many facets to the industry. You could work for a contractor, a distributor, a manufacturer or a manufacturer’s rep firm. Within all of these divisions are countless job titles and areas of opportunity for personal growth. Where you want to start is up to you, but once you get your foot in the door, you can kick it wide open. There are some people who might settle into a job and stay there for their entire career and there are others who like to hop from company to company every couple of years. However you want to spend your career is up to you. The big takeaway is that you have a career. A career gives you the potential for long-term employment and, hopefully, an early retirement.

Working in this industry doesn’t usually seem like a “job.” There is always something new and innovative to learn and talk about. Also, there is usually an event of some sort that I find fun and entertaining. There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you do and getting paid for it at the same time. Now, get moving and get yourself a career in the electrical industry!

Russell Garrett, Encore Wire, McKinney, Texas

So, you’re looking for work? If you are like me, that means you are looking for more than just a paycheck and reasonable benefits. You are looking for a career, an opportunity to learn, grow and contribute to something big and something important. I know how that feels, and I was recently blessed to become part of an industry that I didn’t even know about, but now I’m so grateful to work in. Let me sum up my experience and that of many lifelong industry experts I’ve been able to learn from into a two-prong summary.

First, there’s opportunity. It’s an industry where every skill set is needed and rewarded. Hands-on cutting-edge manufacturing and engineering, skilled business management, public and private accounting and finance, massive marketing and media campaigns, diverse human resources programs, engaging educators and the list continues. Whatever your background, we are looking for you. Second, you will make an impact. This microcosm affects the entire globe, meaning that the work you do impacts your company, community and the world. You’ll be a big part of making the future a literally brighter place.

Don’t you see? Of course you do. Just Google it, unless your phone is dying. Then, you need to find an outlet. Not only for your iPhone, but for your work ethic, creativity and skills. Get plugged in to the electrical industry, where charged careers are enlightening the world.

Matt Eberhart, The Hite Co., a division of Mayer, Altoona, Pennsylvania

The products and services the electrical industry offers are the reason we can see at night, the reason we are warm in the winter and cool in the summer and the reason you can charge your devices anywhere. The solutions the industry provides go into our homes, our streets and our schools, as well as into skyscrapers, stadiums and airports. The industry is constantly evolving to offer new solutions to make the world a safer, more efficient and more enjoyable place.

When considering how we interact with the world around us now and in the future, the electrical industry is one of the most impactful industries. But unlike other industries in that category, such as personal electronics or artificial intelligence, the electrical industry is not well known. It is underestimated and very humble. It hides under our noses and works hard to keep the world running. Humans harnessed the power of electricity and the solutions the electrical industry offer are the tools used to control it. We take for granted just how impressive that is and how much it impacts our lives. The electrical industry is the bedrock to the powered and connected world we live in.

Working in the electrical industry can be very fulfilling. Whether you work in the warehouse, make truck deliveries, sell, install or design products or in any other position, you become part of what makes the electrical industry tick and that is an important thing. There are opportunities to succeed for all types of people. If you work hard, with passion and honorably, the industry will provide you with a very rewarding career filled with meaningful accomplishments and memorable moments.

Brett McCord, Crescent Electric Supply Co., East Dubuque, Illinois

You know something that I bet you’ve never given a second thought or probably even a first thought to? Your dream job could lay somewhere outside of those glamorous fields of lawyers, doctors and astronauts, just waiting for you to notice. Well, I can just about guarantee that you could find not just one but several different career paths in my industry that would satisfy all of your needs and desires.

If you would’ve asked me what field I was going to be operating in 25 years ago, there is a slim chance that I would have exclaimed, “The electrical distribution industry.” Well, here I am and I am satisfied, content and excelling. I have made many contacts, such as customers, coworkers and vendors, who I consider great friends. I get to see my gear and lighting packages being built and installed around my community, and have a great sense of pride knowing that I have contributed to the progression of society. It’s quite a feeling knowing that, when you bring your son or daughter to that new aquatic center, you had a hand in every one of the lights shining down on you.

You can do anything you want in this industry, as it is very diverse. From sales to management, there is something for everyone, and we tend to be loyal, promoting from within when it is possible and deserved. If you want to make $300,000 a year, that is possible too if you’re willing to work for it. In this industry, you drive your own bus.

Chad Hartman, Walters Wholesale Electric, Signal Hill, California

Hi, I’m Chad Hartman and I am an electrical distributor. Did you know that 19 percent of our world’s electricity demand goes to lighting and emits 500 million tons of carbon into our climate? The world needs to be illuminated and the demand for electricity and lighting is not going anywhere.

What could you do to reduce our carbon footprint? I can offer energy-saving lighting controls while cutting costs and energy consumption. I can provide LED replacements that last more than 20 years and cut costs up to 90 percent. Providing all the material and tools to make this world sustainable is a very important job. As an electrical distributor you often problem solve, think logistically and form relationships with your customers and suppliers. I find it self-rewarding to build these kinds of relationships with people because together we are providing a solution to make this world a greener place. Wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?